New Haven Promise Exceeds National Graduation Lists, ECSU Makes New Commitments

During a presentation Friday at Yale School of Management, officials overseeing the New Haven Promise program announced some impressive statistics. 

Like other Promise programs around the nation, The New Haven Promise helps minimize financial barriers, making college degrees more attainable for some students.  

As part of the initiative, scholarships are reserved for New Haven public school graduates who attend Connecticut colleges and universities and it’s been very successful. According to graduation data released today, this program has exceed nationwide graduation rates in every major category for its first four classes. 

“This study is not comprised of a small, potentially anomalous, number of students,” said Promise president Patricia Melton. “This includes more than 500 students over four years who have paved the way for those who follow.” 

According to data presented Friday, the national graduation rate is 59.8 percent, while New Haven Promise stands at 67.2. Yet, organizers aren’t satisfied. 

“We are announcing our campaign to strive for 75,” said Melton. “We’re aiming for 75% across the board in the next 10 years and are confident we will be able to reach it.” 

In addition to the graduation rates released today, the program received a renewed commitment from Eastern Connecticut State University which said they will give a $5,000 matching grant to New Haven Promise students attending Eastern. 

ECSU President Elsa Nunez also announced each Promise student would have a dedicated advisor and would be provided with a campus job, where the supervisor would be a mentor. 

“Whether it’s a gentle criticism or an affirmation we know that supervision of a student in a workplace environment, related to a mentorship program, will work,” said Nunez. 

With today’s announcement, New Haven school superintendent, Dr. Carol Birks praised the Promise program for making a difference. 

“Many of our students come from backgrounds that research suggests that college would not be in their view,” said Birks. “But here in New Haven we are ready to combat those stereotypes and all those things that would be in the way of our students being successful.” 

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